Pomo Canyon Trail Red Hill Trail Loop from Shell Beach

MODERATE 149 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Pomo Canyon Trail Red Hill Trail Loop from Shell Beach is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jenner, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,594 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

An old California ranch overlooking the coast and Jenner headlands. Red Hill provides a series of trails climbing the tallest ridge just south of the Russian River on the coast. This exposed landscape of grasslands and chaparral provides plenty of sweeping vistas overlooking the mouth of the Russian River watershed out to Jenner, coastlines down to Bodega Head, and some great overlooks into Willow Creek. The hike includes some long and steady uphill segments right from the start with the only level areas along the ridge between the Hill and Willow Creek and the upper meadows. There's plenty of variety to break up the view and provide surprises when rounding knolls. Dropping down into Willow Creek is via a fairly steep trail through an amazing stretch of mixed and Redwood forest lush with ferns on the ground. Overall, a great walk. A partnership between Sonoma County and the State Park Systems recently added Willow Creek to the group of parks called Sonoma Coast State Beach. The "Beach" is actually a series of beaches separated by bluffs and headlands extending 17 miles from Bodega Head to a point 4 miles north of Jenner.

Red Hill is the tougher trail! We took a pup and she dis great for the full 7 mi. We parked at the camp ground and started there but realized most people park at Shell Beach. Works either way as long as you start out early enough to finish before sunset!

hiking
10 days ago

I'm not exactly in great shape, nor do I go on hikes very often, so I admit I almost decided to just stay at the beach after seeing the trail wind up and up into the hills. I'm so glad I didn't. Absolutely beautiful views of the Russian River valley, the coast, Jenner, and the mountain ranges. Arrived early and only ran into one other person, otherwise just forests, fields, a huge assortment of birds, beetles and butterflies and a morning well spent. Went up Pomo first and came back on Red Hill - you get a good workout but plenty of places to stop and relax.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely marvelous. Just exactly what the northern Cali coast is at its finest. Loved taking my son

hiking
1 month ago

I think I found my new favorite hike. I started as others described: parked at Shell beach, took the Pomo side first, then came back on the Red Hill side. Lovely views, occasional shade and moderately difficult. I'll be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Great morning hike with beautiful flowers. Started at shell beach and took Pomo side first. Fog broke while we were at Pomo campground area. Red hill on the way back and back down to the beach for picnic lunch. Perfect day!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was well worth the views of the coast! Definitely recommend Pomo canyon trail going in and red hill trail coming back to avoid a straight uphill climb (but still plenty of challenging inclines along the way). Lots of sunshine on a nice day so don’t forget the SPF!

hiking
2 months ago

The tough climb at the beginning is worth it- gorgeous views :)

3 months ago

Very beautiful views and lots of different scenery!

4 months ago

Loved this trail! Very refreshing and beautiful!

hiking
4 months ago

LOVE this trail. We definitely recommend taking Pomo Canyon first and come back via Red Hill (great views of the ocean and also avoid some rocky uphill) scenery changes often so there is always something to see. Many places to stop and eat/rest. Took us about 3hrs with a lunch stop and many picture breaks!

hiking
4 months ago

free parking across street at shell beach. entrance sign is small. AMAZING HIKE. walk through forests, shrubbery, hills, and fields. The scenery changes. lots of little spots and side trails for breaks or reading. beautiful view of ocean and Russian River. great workout coming back up the canyon. bring hats and cover for the Red Hill portion. check wind conditions.

5 months ago

Wonderful day hike. Views to Point Reyes. Birding Paradise.

hiking
5 months ago

Such a beautiful hike and what better than to end at the beach?! It’s a moderate challenge but it def gets your heart beating!

hiking
6 months ago

Love this hike! Park at the beach (free), walk back to the road and the trail starts across the road. Hike down into the canyon, with a steep ascent back out. Beautiful views overlooking the ocean on the return. Can do it in sneakers but hiking shoes best especially after rain.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty wooded areas, happy the weather was misty otherwise would have been too hot out the open.

hiking
6 months ago

Really good Trail, began hike at 9am and pretty much had it to ourselves. I would recommend to go to Pomo Canyon first and then loop back to Red Hill. The views were amazing, being able to see the ocean, Duncan Mills, Jenner, Russian River. Would definitely recommend. It took us about 3 hours including a couple stops.

hiking
6 months ago

Moderate. Took about 3.5 hours including a break for picnic lunch.

6 months ago

Always something new to see and so many different terrains. Many ancient and amazing trees right on the path.

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful views of the ocean, Russian river and redwoods. Good for trail running, lots of hills but not too steep.

8 months ago

I really liked this trail because it's very diverse. I dont know much about bird watching, but there was a lot of bird action going on which was really impressive.

hiking
8 months ago

Fabulous trail that gives views of redwood forest, rolling hills and ocean. Got some great views of wildlife too: lots of hawks, lizards, bunnies, voles, and a snake! The Red Hill trail has more incline than the Pomo Canton trail, so I recommend going out on the Red Hill when you have more energy. Lots of incline so good for a workout!

10 months ago

Fun, varied trail, but definitely moderate, not hard.

10 months ago

Definitely a more moderate hike, but solid nonetheless with great views of the ocean and some nice redwood spotting's through some lusher forest area

hiking
11 months ago

My favorite trail, but don't listen to the rating. This is moderate.

Beautiful views the whole way, everyone should do this hike.

hiking
11 months ago

not hard but does have a steady incline for the first 1-2 miles followed by nice view of the mouth of the Russian river to inspire you to continue on. moderate exposure so bring cover/ sun screen. A few amazing moments with redwoods and firs are sure to be had but keep your elbows in when the trail narrows or you'll be grazed by poison oak. you can turn right toward red hill to just stay on the loop but i recommend going out and back the extra bit to the redwood groves. the view of the ocean at the end definitely makes it worth it and best to give yourself enough time for the hike down to the beach after. plant species include coyote brush, coffee berry, firs, tan oak, redwood, scrub oak, coast live oak....

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Fun hike, in and out of lush greenery. Great ocean view. Good beginning climb, easy after that.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Amazing views of the river and ocean! The hike was not extremely difficult, but I'm a newbie for it's worth. I will definitely come back.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nice trail with great views. Steep near the canyon side but lots of shade in that area. Watch for poison oak!

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Definitely not a hard trail by any means. Difficultly should be listed as moderate at most. Some good views throughout the trail. Extremely windy but that's to be expected out here.

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